‘Matilda’ is probably one of the best musicals in London. This post won’t be a review because I wrote one already that you can read here: ‘I want to grow up with Matilda’. This was my second time watching the show and it was like a kind of test to me. It was the first show that I saw when I moved to London and I understood many things, but I lost most of them because my English wasn’t good. This time, my English is much better so all the show was fine to me, I could laugh at the jokes and understand most of the lyrics of the songs. It’s true that I know most of them after listening the soundtrack many times, but I was really happy to see that I have improved. Also, since the first time I saw ‘Matilda’, in December 2013, I’ve seen lots of musicals, so I felt that this musical has something so especial, so huge, that makes it one of the best in town.
What I love the most of the show is the story. Is so emotional, so touching that kids and adults can understand it and feel it in a different way. Young people can see how Matilda is fighting against Miss Trunchbull, a dictatorial headmistress of the school. One of the greatest scenes is ‘Revolting Children’, with all the kids celebrating that they beat her in the spelling exercise. And adults can see a different story too: how hard is to grow up, the importance of love, respect, solidarity and protect the talent. There are lots of scenes so moving that I even cried sometimes. It’s a wonderful experience to see a show like that on stage.
I don’t think that ‘Matilda’ is a show only for kids. It’s true that there are exaggerated characters, like Mr and Mrs Wormwood (or even Miss Trunchbull) but they are a reflection of different attitudes and realities in society. Of course, parents like Matilda’s are horrible, but they are also cartoons of a busy and materialist society nowadays, ignoring the really talent in front of them. Kids can learn a lot of this show (and the movie, which I love, and the book by Roald Dahl), but adults can have a lot of wonderful emotions watching it.
I think that it’s a great job to combine the story that Matilda invents and explains to Mrs Phelps with her real story and the rest of the characters. In one show, you are following two different stories with lots of things in common, but both very interesting and creative. Matilda is a wonderful character and you love her, she is vulnerable but also very talented and adorable.
I must recognise that the soundtrack is not one of my favourites. It’s a different kind of musical if we speak about the music, because there aren’t much catchy songs, typical Broadway style. To be honest, I only have a few songs in my MP3 player, like ‘Naughty’, ‘Quiet’, ‘When I Grow Up’ and pretty much that’s it. But while I was sitting there, I enjoyed all the songs, they sound good and they are integrated in the story very well. They make you be aware of the story and the different emotions of the characters.
The effects are amazing; it’s a show that is really wonderful to see, because lots of things happen on the stage. I was so surprised of how many light effects were on the show. Also, there are a huge variety of resources to tell the story, such as puppets, scenarios that appear from the floor and swings. The stage is one of my favourites of all time, grid with many letters of the alphabet everywhere. I sometimes find myself distracted looking for words related to the musical.
The choreographies, the way the songs are performed is stunning and very original. Everything is a high quality that makes this show so much different from the rest in West End by far. It’s like a different sense to create the scenes; so original, so beautiful that ‘Matilda’ is art from the very beginning until the ending. Everything is unpredictable, even knowing the story, in the scenes you can be surprised all the time. I specially remember the ‘Bruce’ scene, with the poor guy eating all the massive cake on his own, or ‘When I Grow Up’, with the cast singing and having fun.
The cast is fantastic, there are lots of kids on stage singing and dancing like it’s the easiest thing in the world. I remember that this one of the things that impressed me a lot, but this time too, the kids are funny, sing and dance very well. How do they do it? I’m so surprised that they are on stage most of the time. Of course some adults too, but they are the main actors and actresses.
‘Matilda’ is one of my favourite musicals in London because is very emotional. The story is wonderful and touching, you can feel related to it easily and love the main character so much. It’s like you want to protect her and love her. Even the bad characters, like Miss Trunchbull or Matilda’s parents have something so charismatic and funny that you love them too. I got a day seat for £5, it’s a great deal for young people under 25 years old (don’t miss the opportunity!). I’m sure that if you go to see it, you won’t regret, it’s such a wonderful and unique experience in London theatre.